custom design your spar laminate
custom design your spar laminate
Triaxial Braider for custom carbon masts
Carbon Spars, Ocean Planet shown here
CARBON SPARS 2017-03-20T11:23:50+00:00

Composite Engineering  Carbon Spars and Masts

We are a custom builder of triaxial carbon spars, stayed, unstayed, or semistayed,including circular, oval, D-shaped, complex furling, and wing masts.

View our Spar Portfolio.

We engineer spar solutions for all ranges of vessels size and performance. From sailboats to racing scows and historical schooners, CEI spars provide exceptional handling and performance for a durable and cost-effective solution.  CEI designs and builds spars and masts for individual vessels and also provides ongoing inventory for boat builders.

View our FARFARER Details

Details on Frank Blair’s “Fusion Schooner”
Nigel Irens/Covey Island Boatworks

Why Composite Engineering should build your next spar!

Our unique combination of design excellence, engineering experience,
and state of the art aerospace technology make our carbon spars the best available.
Carbon Spars from Composite Engineering offer the following advantages:

Our carbon spars are custom-designed for each rig by naval architect, Dr. Ted Van Dusen, using Composite Engineering’s library of design and simulation programs, and 30 years’ experience with composite technology. We can work from your specifications, work with your designer, or custom design your rig from scratch. We also retrofit production sailing boats.

We manufacture our carbon spars using a triaxial braiding technology so responsive that we can custom design your spar laminate virtually inch-by-inch, thereby optimizing spar strength, stiffness, and weight. Triaxial braiding also permits very precise fiber placement in the required directions.

Each layer of our triaxially braided spars is seamlessly woven to achieve exactly the desired size and shape. During the weaving process, the spar is simultaneously impregnated with the same high-performance aerospace epoxy found in prepreg composites. Triaxial braiding also accommodates variations in composition, wall thickness, and number of layers at different heights and positions on the spar.

We use autoclave heat and pressure curing, in conjunction with vacuum bagging, to remove all excess resin and to ensure void-free laminates and superior compaction. This process produces ultra-lightweight spars free from the defects that cause stress concentrations and failure in the resin matrix.

The superior strength and stiffness-to-weight ratio of our triaxially braided carbon spars permit us to create a wide range of sophisticated stayed, unstayed, or semistayed rigs that match boat stability and sail shape. Triaxial braiding technology allows the production of a variety of circular, oval, D-shaped, complex furling, and wing masts. We can directly integrate composite mastheads, spreaders, tangs, and other fittings into the overall mast design for greater strength.

Our highly efficient triaxial braiding process is far more economical than other high-performance carbon spar manufacturing processes. Braiding eliminates the high purchase cost of prepreg, the associated cutting and trimming waste, and the overlaps unavoidable with any tape or fabric lay-up.

Triaxial braiding of a carbon fiber mast

TRIAXIAL BRAIDING SYSTEM

custom carbon fiber mast entering autoclave

READYING MAST FOR INFUSION PROCESS IN AUTOCLAVE

OUR 60 FOOT AUTOCLAVE

The Advantages of Carbon Spars

Carbon spars offer many advantages over other options. Read about the design considerations and composite selections for FARFARER in Ted Van Dusen’s article .. “A Modern Solution”.  Other factors to consider are:

HANDLING

Lightweight carbon spars lower the center of gravity and reduce the pitching moment, so carbon spars substantially improve vessel stability, ease of handling, and safety.

PERFORMANCE

In favorable conditions, carbon spars can carry a larger sail area for greater speed. When sails are reefed down, carbon spars improve drive through rough seas and increase stability by up to 15 percent.

DURABILITY

Carbon spars afford significantly increased durability and longevity. They are far more fatigue-resistant. They will not corrode, and they are easier to maintain and repair than wooden or aluminum spars.

STIFFNESS TO WEIGHT RATIO

The stiffness to weight ratio of carbon spars is more than twice that of comparable aluminum spars. The weight of carbon spars is about one-half the weight of aluminum spars, and carbon spars are considerably stronger.

Willie Crear Boat Builder - Scow

Willie Crear Boat Builder, Scow

CUSTOM DESIGN CLIENTS AND BOATBUILDERS